Terraform – Escape strings with a $ (dollar) sign

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The Issue

When using Terraform to perform an action, and the input is using a $, you can end up with an output such as the below.

│ Error: Invalid character
│  on main.tf line 104, in resource "vra_blueprint" "this":
│ 104:      network: '${resource.Cloud_Network_1.id}'
│ This character is not used within the language.

This happened to me when I was using the Terraform vRA Provider to create Cloud Templates (blueprints) in my vRA environment. The vRA cloud templates use a syntax such as ${input.something}, which clashes with the syntax used by Terraform to identify inputs.

The Cause

Terraform implements a interpolations syntax. These interpolations are wrapped in ${}, such as ${var.foo}.

The interpolation syntax is powerful and allows you to reference variables, attributes of resources, call functions, etc.

The Fix

You can escape interpolation with double dollar signs: $${foo} will be rendered as a literal ${foo}.

Terraform Interpolation Syntax example



Dean Lewis


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